Yvon Chouinard Gets Fortune Magazine Cover Story
Not for the first time, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia graces the cover of business magazine. It's hard to ignore a company that's been around for 30 something years, gives away pots of money to rowdy environment activists, drops best selling lines for greener ones, yet still makes $270 million USD a year. We glean from the article that Patagonia are working on a new wetsuit design. A non-petroleum neoprene made from crushed limestone with "a lining of recycled polyester and, of all things, organic wool." And according to the Fortune piece, "90 percent warmer than other wetsuits, as well as stretchier, stronger and naturally odor resistant." Chouinard is quoted "We're getting [back] into the surf market, because it's never going to snow again, and the waves are going to get bigger and bigger." On the greener of business he remarks, "I'm blown away by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart does one-tenth of what they say they're going to do, it will be incredible. And hopefully America will get a government that we need rather than one we deserve, that will put pressure on business to clean up its act. But the most powerful pressure will come from the consumer. Oh, my God, it's going to be really powerful."Writer Susan Casey observes that the famous Patagonia laidback ambience is misleading, saying that competition is stiff, with the company receiving more than 900 applications for every job opening. The people who get hired are anything but slackers, and Chouinard is an unrepentant perfectionist. "He has an easygoing persona, and he's a California guy," says Casey Sheahan, Patagonia's 51-year-old CEO. (He got the job in March 2006.) "But he does demand excellence. People in this company would run through walls for him." Fortune Magazine.